Ann Arbor, MI
… we are the new voice for our parents and ancestors, and the fact that there are so many of us willing to speak out for Taiwan is special.
Who are you?
I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan. The biggest thing in my life that has helped shape me to who I am today is, tennis. I have been playing tennis since I was four, I am still playing tennis competitively as a member of the University of Michigan tennis team. Tennis has allowed me the chance to travel to countries like Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, and more. While playing in Asia, I made many friendships with the Taiwanese players. It gave me a chance to practice my Taiwanese and it gave my new Taiwanese friends a chance to practice English. But the one thing that always struck me was that my Taiwanese tennis friends were representing Chinese Taipei and not Taiwan.
What do you do?
I am student-athlete at the University of Michigan. There are four things that I do on a day to day basis and that’s eat, study, play tennis, and sleep (sometimes). I think I could say that I’m not your normal college student.
If I do have free time though, I love to watch the Travel channel and the Food network channel. Which means that I love to cook, although cooking is not one of my strongest attributes.
Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?
Taiwan is part of me, it is a part of my family. I am a second generation Taiwanese and I believe that tennis has given me the opportunity to represent my Taiwanese heritage. Where ever I go I tell people that I am a Taiwanese American, and if certain people don’t know about Taiwan and its cultural history, I’ll tell them. I am also proud that there are many 2nd generations that have a strong Taiwanese identity. Almost all the college campuses that I’ve been to, have some sort of Taiwanese club or group. It’s special to me, because we are the new voice for our parents and ancestors, and the fact that there are so many of us willing to speak out for Taiwan is special.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
Me: “I am a Taiwanese American”
Person: “Ohhh so you are Chinese?”
This is something that I would like to see changed as soon as possible. The future of Taiwanese America does look promising though. Last June I had the opportunity to participate in the Formosa Foundation Ambassador Program. I had the opportunity to yell and scream at representatives with 30 plus other participants for not taking Taiwan matters more seriously (no just kidding). But really, it was great to rally for Taiwan for two weeks, from issues of human rights to military talks, and to be able to share the experience with other participants who want to see Taiwan grow.
I really do think the future of Taiwanese America is on the right track. I was very impressed with the efforts on the 2010 Census. It’s great to see that so many Taiwanese Americans want to be heard. Also this year, with the release of the movie Formosa Betrayed aimed at those who don’t really understand Taiwan’s deep cultural history, I believe that we as Taiwanese Americans are becoming stronger. More voices are coming out and I believe that is what the future of Taiwanese America needs.